Saturday, September 23, 2023

Access Bank Botswana secures P260 million from OPEC Fund 

Access Bank Botswana has secured $20 million (P260 million) from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC) to extend financial support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Botswana.

The partnership marks the first private sector loan from the OPEC Fund, which last year borrowed the Botswana government $100 million under the Economic Resilience and Green Recovery Development Policy (ERGRDP). 

According to a joint press release from Access Bank and OPEC Fund, a significant portion of the $20 million, at least 30 percent, will be directed towards women-owned businesses and 70 percent will be provided for on-lending to local companies. The funds will help address the financing access gap experienced by many MSMEs.

“This loan demonstrates our commitment to promoting economic growth, gender equality and financial inclusion. By empowering small businesses and women entrepreneurs, who play a significant role in Botswana’s economy, we are contributing to the resilience, inclusiveness and overall economic sustainability of the country,” said OPEC Fund Director-General, Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, during the signing of the agreement at the OPEC Fund Development Forum in Vienna. 

“This partnership will enable Access Bank Botswana to deliver much-needed access to finance for small businesses, provide these businesses with trade finance solutions through tailored financial products and promote the use of digital banking channels to help accelerate the growth of SMEs across the country. Investing in SMEs the bank can drive sustainable economic growth, reduce unemployment and build a resilient economy for the future,” added Access Bank Botswana acting managing director Musonda Chishimba.

The fifth largest commercial bank in the country, Access Bank Botswana, says it aims to grow the percentage of women-owned businesses within its portfolio from 20 percent to 25 percent of the total MSME portfolio.

The bank is fresh from issuing a $2 billion domestic medium-term note programme, with proceeds to be used to grow its retail and corporate segments, as well as the extension of the maturity profile of its liabilities to match assets.

According to the note programme, Access Bank Botswana has identified growth opportunities in the mid-sized caps and SME’s and will strive to be an active and relevant player within the key industry sectors driving the country’s gross domestic product by ensuring an unwavering focus on market leading business clients, midcorporates, business banking and SME customers. 

“This market generally faces challenges in accessing funding and Access Bank Botswana has developed an attractive value proposition to target this market. The strategy will be underpinned by Access Bank Botswana’s ecosystem model which involves identifying anchor clients in the country’s growth economic sectors and banking the entire value chain,” the company said in the prospectus. 


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